Meryanne Loum-Martin founded the first Black and female-owned hotel in Morocco, the boutique Jnane Tamnsna hotel. In addition to being a renowned interior designer, hotelier, and author, she has spent over 25 years in Marrakesh.
Her boutique hotel in Marrakesh is regarded as one of the most beautiful boutique hotels in the city. It has 24 rooms, five heated pools, a library with hundreds of books and periodicals, and nine acres of date palms, olive trees, and organic fruit trees.
Loum-Martin told Travel+Leisure, “Thirty years ago, I never would have envisioned myself as an innkeeper.” My friend would say, “So you quit your job as a lawyer in Paris and became an innkeeper.”
As a lawyer, Loum-Martin followed in her West Indian mother’s footsteps, who also studied law. However, her travels around the world motivated her to pursue a career in the hospitality industry. She was born in Côte d’Ivoire to a Senegalese diplomat father. She spent her childhood in Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, London, and Moscow because of her father.
She attended architecture school and excelled in creative and artistic classes, but her deficiencies in chemistry and physics prevented her from furthering her education. She subsequently pursued a legal career and joined the Paris Bar as an attorney.
Her interest in retreats prompted her to travel to Marrakesh in the late 1980s in search of land on which to build a new family vacation home. She fell in love with the city afterward. According to her, she was also attracted to the Red City due to its diverse cultural influences, which included Arab and French Art Deco as well as Berber traditions.
According to urban legend, Marrakesh has attracted some of the most famous artists and aesthetes in the world, including Jimi Hendrix, The Rolling Stones, John Legend, anddesignerch fashion designers Yves Saint Laurent.
“I was an attorney, but the profession was never my passion. Loum-Martin stated, “I had a passion for architecture and could throw great parties.” I never envisioned this path for myself.
When Loum-Martin first arrived in the Red City in the 1980s, it was primarily populated by sheep, their shepherds, and alfalfa plants.
She stated, “I convinced my parents to purchase additional land.” I reasoned, “Perhaps it would make sense to attempt to start a business, purchase the land next door, construct another home, and make a statement about a new type of vacation.”
Today, she has converted her once-modest vacation home into the stylish boutique hotel Jnane Tamna.
Loum-husband is Dr. Gary Martin, an ethnobotanist and founder of the Global Diversity Foundation. Martin’s They have two children together.